Virchow Foundation

for Global Health


The Executive Board is responsible for the operational management and the implementation of the strategy of the Virchow Foundation for Global Health. It appoints and supervises the management of the Foundation Secretariat.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Christoph Markschies

Chair of the Board

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Prof. Dr. Detlev Ganten

Vice Chair of the Board

Founding President & Chair of the Board of Trustees
World Health Summit

Roland Göhde

Executive Member of the Board | CEO

Co-Founder & Member of the Board of Trustees | Göhde Foundation
Chair of the Board | GHA – German Health Alliance

Guests of the Executive Board

Prof. Dr. Axel R. Pries

Ex Officio Guest of the Executive Board

President | World Health Summit (WHS)

Axel Pries

In 1979 Pries passed his medical examination at the University of Cologne in Germany. In the following year, he received his doctoral degree (summa cum laude). Until 1985, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cologne and then moved to the Institute of Physiology of the Freie Universität Berlin (FU). In 1990, Pries finished his habilitation at the Medical Faculty of Freie Universität Berlin and became Associate Professor at the Department of Physiology in 1995. From 1997 to 1998 Axel Pries was employed as Senior Physician for Anaesthesiology at the German Heart Center Berlin (DHZB). In 1998 he became a Full Professor at the Institute for Physiology of the Freie Universität Berlin; from 2001 to 2015 he was Head of the Institute for Physiology of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. His major research field include blood rheology, microcirculation, microvascular network analysis, endothelial function, microvascular adaptation and angiogenesis.

Pries was Vice Director at the Centre for Preclinical Medicine of Charité (2008-2015) and Vice Director at the Centre for Cardiovascular Research, CCR, Charité (2009-2013). For thirty years he was also a consultant for NIH grants at the University of Arizona, Tucson with Tim Secomb (1984-2014) which involved yearly visits of approx. one month.

From 2015 to 2022 he was Dean and member of the Executive Board of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 2003-2015, Prof. Pries was Board Member of the Faculty. From 2018-2020 he served as interim CEO and member of the board of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and in parallel as President of the Biomedical Alliance in Europe. With the beginning of the year 2021, he became President of the World Health Summit. Since 2023 he is also Pro Rector of the Danube Private University in Krems / Austria.


Education & professional career 

1979: Medical examination, University of Cologne

2/1980: Doctoral degree (Dr. med., summa cum laude)

1980: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cologne

1985: Research Assistant (C1), Dept. of Physiology, FU

7/1990: Habilitation, Medical Faculty, Freie Universität Berlin (FU)

1991: Lecturer of Physiology (C2), Dept. of Physiology, FU

1995: Associate Professor, Dept. of Physiology, FU

1997-1998: Senior Physician, Anaesthesiology, German Heart Centre Berlin (DHZB)

12/1998: Full Professor, Dept. of Physiology, FU

1984-2014: University of Arizona, Tucson, Consultant for NIH grants with Tim Secomb, (yearly stays of one month at UofA).

2001-2015: Head, Institute of Physiology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

2003-2015: Board Member, Faculty of Medicine, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

2008-2015: Vice Director, Centre for Preclinical Medicine, Charité

2009-2013: Vice Director, Centre for Cardiovascular Research, CCR, Charité

2015-2022: Dean, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

2018-2020: CEO (interim), Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

2018-2019:  President, Biomedical Alliance in Europe

2021-present: President, World Health Summit

2023-present: Pro Rector, Danube Private University


Honours, Awards & Fellowships

1980: Thesis Award “Hochhausstiftung”, University of Cologne

1986: Abbott Microcirculation Award, European Society for Microcirculation

1995: Lafon Hemorheology-Microcirculation Award, International Society for Clinical Haemorheology

2000: Fellow, European Society of Cardiology

2008: Visiting Fellowship, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge/UK

2008: Award of the Asian Union for Microcirculation

2011: Malpighi Award, European Society for Microcirculation

2015: William Harvey Basic Science Lecture and Silver Medal, European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

2015: Kitanomaru Award, 10th World Conf. for Microcirculation, Kyoto, Japan

2018: Poiseuille Gold Medal, International Society of Biorheology